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Just for Holiday Fun
Following Yonder Star
By Ruth Fields
December 5–8 and 12-15 (gates open at 6 p.m.)
Front entrance to drive through
the Bethlehem City experience
Re-enactment of Jesus’ Last
Supper with his disciples
8 Postcards Magazine: Montgomery County Edition | December 2013
West Conroe Baptist Church has been the home of Bethlehem City
for seven years. Dr. Jay Gross, pastor, got the idea of a multi-scene
re-enactment of the birth and life of Jesus from his friend Mark Estep,
pastor of Spring Baptist Church. As Estep described previous produc-
tions, Gross listened with mounting excitement. Then he called church
member Bobby Cantrell, a homebuilder, to ask if he thought the idea
was feasible. “I told him what I was thinking about and immediately
his eyes lit up,” Gross says, “He said, ‘Jay, we can do it!’” Next, Gross
assembled 15 people, asking them to head teams, such as construction,
cast, make-up, costumes and security. They liked the idea so much, they
are still directors of those teams today.
Bethlehem City, a drive-through event, will be held this year on
December 5-8 and December 12-15. Admission is free. Each night, the
front gate opens at 6 p.m.; cars begin driving through at 6:30. Wait
times are from 30 to 45 minutes, so volunteers recommend securing a
place in line no later than 7:15 to guarantee entrance.
Once inside the church parking lot, drivers and passengers are offered
hot chocolate and candy canes. On a typical year, the church’s hot choc-
olate team distributes well over 400 gallons of hot chocolate. Attendees
are also given CDs that narrate their journey through Bethlehem City.
There are 22 scenes, beginning with the messianic prophecy of Isaiah.
Scenes portray the birth and life of Jesus, culminating with his cruci-
fixion and resurrection.